Lovingkindness Prayer

As we reflect on Psalm 103’s description as God’s lovingkindness surrounding all of our lives, I thought it might be good to introduce a spiritual practice I find helps me get in touch with this lovingkindness.

I hope it blesses you!  Please share what practices get you in touch with God’s lovingkindness.

Your progressive redneck preacher,

Micah

 

dalai-lama-quotes-1024x728

In the spirit of my previous post in which I shared how Dalai Lama’s practice of meditation helped him transform his and other’s experience of suffering into compassion, I thought it would be appropriate for me to share a form of meditation and prayer which help me in my own small way move closer to that goal: lovingkindness meditation.

loving-kindness-1024x791To start I want to ask you to sit comfortably and center yourself – a lot of times it helps to either close your eyes or pick a peaceful image in the room to fix your attention on.  Breathe in deeply, feeling the breath in your body, hold your breath, and then breath out, feeling it leave your body.  Continue to breathe in and out slowly, paying attention to your breath.

As you do so I want to ask you imagine in front of you, in the center of your awareness, is someone who you care deeply about and evokes deep compassion, love, and kindness.   It could be a friend, a relative, a child, a spouse or partner, even an animal.  I want you to image that dear one being surrounded by deep love and compassion.

lovingkindness-picImagine whatever brings them inner and outer harm and danger. Imagine it disappearing.  Imagine them being fully be safe and protected.

Imagine whatever brings them mental suffering or emotional distress.  Imagine that fading away.

Imagine them being fully happy.

Imagine whatever brings them physical pain and suffering.  Imagine it also fading away.  Imagine them growing healthy and strong.

Imagine them able to live in this world happily, peacefully, joyfully, with ease.

Imagine them there, in the center of your awareness, surrounded and upheld by loving kindness, compassion, a love that moves the universe forward.

What does it look like?  How does it feel? What images fill your mind?

Now take a moment and imagine yourself in the center of your awareness there, yourself surrounded by such loving kindness.

lovingkindness-blessing-5x72Imagine whatever brings you inner and outer harm and danger. Imagine it disappearing.  Imagine yourself being fully be safe and protected.

Imagine whatever brings you mental suffering or emotional distress.  Imagine that fading away.

Imagine yourself being fully happy.

Imagine whatever brings you physical pain and suffering.  Imagine it also fading away.  Imagine yourself growing healthy and strong.

Imagine yourself able to live in this world happily, peacefully, joyfully, with ease.

Know you are there, in the center of all life, surrounded and upheld by a loving kindness, compassion, a love that moves the universe forward.

What does it look like?  How does it feel? What images fill your mind?

loving-kindess-chesedFinally, now – and this may be hard – imagine the whole world: each person, and every living thing, there in the center of your awareness.

I want you to image all those dear ones being surrounded by deep love and compassion.

Imagine whatever brings them inner and outer harm and danger. Imagine it disappearing.  Imagine them being fully be safe and protected.

Imagine whatever brings them mental suffering or emotional distress.  Imagine that fading away.

Imagine them being fully happy.

Imagine whatever brings them physical pain and suffering.  Imagine it also fading away.  Imagine them growing healthy and strong.

Imagine them able to live in this world happily, peacefully, joyfully, with ease.

Imagine them there, in the center of your awareness, surrounded and upheld by loving kindness, compassion, a love that moves the universe forward.

What does it look like?  How does it feel? What images fill your mind?

Continue to breathe in and breathe out.  As you do begin to feel your meditation is complete, I want invite you to join the Prayer of St. Patrick, a prayer to the Cosmic Christ:

loving-kindness-2Christ be with me, Christ within me

Christ behind me, Christ before me

Christ beside me, Christ to win me

Christ to comfort me and restore me.

Christ beneath me, Christ above me

Christ in quiet, Christ in danger

Christ in hearts of all that love me

Christ in mouth of friend or stranger.

Amen.

Advertisements

One thought on “Lovingkindness Prayer

  1. Debra Kosche says:

    Micah, do you have an audio version of this meditation?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s